Air Ride Building LS1 powered ’68 Camaro

Air Ride has become well known in hot rodding circles for not only building kick-ass suspension systems, but debuting some of the cleanest project cars of just about every make and model. As such, the team at Air Ride has been building a ’68 Camaro which will come close to topping just about every creation they have built so far.

When we said the team at Air Ride has built some radical muscle, we weren’t kidding. Check out some of the bad ass machines that have come out of their wicked minds:

• 1969 Mustang – road race & drag race!
• 1970 Buick – 538 hp
• 1970 Chevelle – 630 hp!

This particular ’68 car started off as an incredibly straight survivor car with a 6-cylinder engine. It had that nice burgundy paint that it seems graces just about every “find”…

Although Air Ride are the crazed maniacs behind the build, the paint and fabrication work is being done by Precision Coachworks. Precision Coachworks is a sister company to Bret Voelkel’s Air Ride.

Check out their web site. It’s pretty stunning quality work.

The beginning stages of the restoration began with the hard fab work. Fenders were eaten by the rust gods, and that guys at Precision began to cut out the inner fenders for the mini-tubs so the Air Ride equipped ’68 can get slammed.

At Precision, once the major work was finished in terms of rust repair and installing the mini tubs, the Camaro went to the rotating table for painting the underside, a classy move for any clean re-build.

The six cylinder has been replaced by a new Bill Mitchell 427 LS1 motor that makes 614 hp. It’s an EFI LS1, which to our tastes, really makes the ’68 stand out from a crowd.

The World Products engine starts with a World Warhawk LS7X block, Eagle Crankshaft, and features a 4.125 bore and 4.000 stroke. With the LS1X 15-degree Warhawk heads, it is capable and available from 600 to 640 horsepower. Throw on the Edelbrock single plane intake, and the Big Stuff 3 EFI/MSD Ignition combination, and this engine will not only make big power, but look just as tough.

The car will also feature 2-inch Dynatech headers, and a full Front Runner Driver system from vintage air. The transmission is a 4L65e from Bowler Transmission using an electronic paddle shifter system from TCI.

What is the Air Ride ’68 Camaro without a full Air Ride suspension.

The suspension is the complete Street Challenge air suspension package from Air Ride. This is the same system as we are putting on our ’71 Nova.

The front system consists of the:

• StrongArm
• DA ShockWaves
• Musclebar
• PosiLinks

The rear system uses the AirBar and DA ShockWaves in conjunction with the Detroit Speed mini tubs to allow the larger 335 series rear tire. The 4100 series AirPod with the LevelPro sensors controls the air system.

Wilwood supplied the 4 wheel disc brake system consisting of 13” diameter rotors and 6 piston calipers on the front and a 12” rotor with a 4 piston caliper and an internal park brake on the rear. The rear axle is a 9” Ford with a 3:70 gear and a Detroit Locker.

The color is special. Mandarin Orange, from a 2008 Mustang. It’s clean, a DuPont Hot Hues color, and includes really striking bare metal stripes.

Note there is no rear spoiler and a flat hood. This car was so perfect that it needed no panel replacement and no panel repair, interior or exterior. The whole car could have been bare-metal-clearcoat finished like the stripes if desired.

We’ll be following along as Air Ride finishes off this bad ride, and expect to see regular updates here!

About the author

James Lawrence

James started working on a Nostalgia Top Fuel drag racing team in 1992, and the rest has been history. A life-long automotive enthusiast, James is in fierce competition to see whether he can collect more cars or cats. Right now, the cars are winning. James co-founded the NMRA and NMCA Drag Racing Series in 1998 and continues to be an avid and passionate fan on everything 1320. He also thinks he can drive. Thinks, is the key word.
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